Weekly Features


Faces of IU: Sarah Akemon, belly dancer

Matt Bloom

Apr. 24, 2014

Sarah Akemon, a seamstress at IU Opera and Ballet Theater, makes her own belly dance costumes at home. 

Using patterned fabric, she sews harem pants -- part of the traditional belly dancer garb, which also includes turbans and gold and bronze jewelry that jingles when she dances. Her dramatic black eyeliner is accented with rows of dots around her eyebrows and a line from the bottom of her lip to her chin. Body art is common among tribal belly dancers because it identifies the performers as “god-like.”

Akemon began belly dancing after her move to Bloomington in 2010 and has since become an instructor and devoted member of Tribe IUB and the city’s flourishing belly dance community. Her tribe is open to new members, novice belly dancers and anyone interested in learning more about the centuries-old art of belly dancing.

Practices are biweekly, from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays and from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturdays, in IU’s Wildermuth Intramural Center.

The group will host a belly dance party, called a hafla, at 7 p.m. May 4 at Rachael’s Café, 300 E. Third St.

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